Ghana Rugby Gives Blood To Save Lives

June 3rd marked one year since approximately 225 people died directly or indirectly due to heavy flooding in the Accra metropolis in Ghana.

The tragic event was remembered by a special blood donation event supported by Mr. Herbert Mensah, current President of the Ghana Rugby Football Union and past Chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko football club, who mobilised a large contingent of Ghana Rugby players to show solidarity with the victims and their families.

Ghana Rugby players who joined the blood donation exercise in a show of solidarity included the captain of the national men’s sevens team, the Ghana Eagles, who recently lifted the Bronze Cup in the Africa Rugby international tournament in Lome, Togo.

Other players included Michael Ako Wilson (President of the Ghana Rugby Union Players Association (GRUPA)), Salisu Abdul Rahman better known as Hakim (captain of Conquerors SC who won the 2016 Ghana Rugby Club Championship), Jason Dzata, Razak Shabby, Solomon Akumba, Andrews Amisah, Prince Boamah, Francis Lawson, Rueben Banama, Andrews Amissah, Percy Adamson, Prince Kwaku, Nathaniel Addy, Razak Shaibu, Moro Kwao, Solomon Akumba, Rafatu Innusah, Fussei Jibril, Etisam Abubakari, Jamila Annas, Rebecca, Kadija Adams, Fauzia Larry and Gifty Kukua Aggrey.

Herbert Mensah is also known as the person who have religiously since 2001 “remembered” the 9 May 2001 Accra Sports Stadium Disaster when 127 young football fans died needless during a match between arch rivals Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak.

Wikipedia describes the tragic events of 3 June 2015 as follows, “The 2015 Accra floods resulted from heavy continuous rainfall in Accra, the largest city in Ghana. The rain started on 1 June 2015. The floods have resulted in heavy traffic on the roads in the city and also a halt in commercial activities as markets were flooded and workers trapped. Mayor of Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije described the flooding as critical. At least 25 people have died from the flooding directly, while a petrol station explosion caused by the flooding killed at least 200 more people.”

Mensah said that both the tragedies of 2001 and 2015 could have been avoided if those in charge of the management of the match (2001) and those in charge of town planning had done their jobs responsibly.

“We can never forget these fatal events as they are a reminder to those charged with the responsibility of looking after the safety of people that the price of negligence can indeed be very costly, “Mensah said.

The blood donation exercise organised by Mensah took place on Friday 3 June 2016 at Reverend Bruce Memorial Methodist Church at Odornaah close to the venue of the GOIL fire tragedy one year ago. The exercise was managed by the National Blood Service, Ghana (NBSG).

According to a spokesperson of NBSG the blood bank never has enough blood and that the Service depends on voluntary blood donors and voluntary donor organizers to bring in their friends, relatives and organized groups. She went on to say that blood donation is a noble, selfless service that not only gives the donor a feeling of joy and contentment but that it is in fact a civic responsibility.

A huge crowd remembered the event with many dignitaries in attendance including the Mayor of Accra Metropolitan Assembly at the time of the disaster, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, and renowned lawyer Philip Addison who has been elected parliamentary candidate for the New Patriotic Party in the Klottey Korley constituency.